The Latest: Key GOP Moderate Rejects Health Care Bill

As House Republicans hope to bush the Healthcare bill through this week, rejection from moderates could cut its life short

11:15 a.m.

The Republican health care bill has been dealt a significant blow with a respected former House committee chairman saying he doesn’t support it.

Moderate Michigan Rep. Fred Upton is a 16-term House veteran who until this year chaired the chamber’s Energy and Commerce Committee. He’s saying Tuesday he can’t back the legislation because it undermines insurance protections that current law gives people with pre-existing illnesses.

The GOP bill would let states get federal permission for insurers to charge some people with pre-existing illnesses higher premiums. Currently, they must charge sick and health customers the same premiums.

House Republican leaders hope to push the health care bill through the House this week.

But they remain short of votes. Upton’s defection could make it easier for other moderates to vote no.

10:15 a.m.

House Republican leaders say they are close on garnering the votes to scrap major parts of Democrat Barack Obama’s health care law but that they are still short of the votes.

Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida said Tuesday that leadership told the GOP caucus: “‘We’re almost there.'” Webster said “that means they’re not there. We don’t have the votes but we’re almost there.”

Trump is pressuring the House to vote on the bill this week. Multiple GOP members said there is no indication on vote timing on health care.

Republicans were forced to pull the bill in March or face defeat. Changes to the bill have won over conservatives, but moderates are reluctant to back the measure.
10 a.m.
President Donald Trump says the nation “needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September” to fix a “mess” in the Senate.

The president says on Twitter that the country needs to “either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51 (percent),” suggesting more rules changes ahead in the Senate.

Senate Republicans recently triggered the “nuclear option” to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster threshold for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. That change allowed the Senate to hold a final vote to approve Gorsuch with a simple majority.

Trump’s tweets come ahead of expected votes this week on a bipartisan budget deal to avoid a government shutdown and a possible vote in the House on a health care overhaul.

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